ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says unemployment in the St. Louis region stands at 7.2 percent, compared to 8.6 percent a year ago.

Economist Linda Nickisch says that’s encouraging, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story.

“Official unemployment data only counts people who are available for work and have actively sought the job in the four weeks leading up to their interview,” she said. “We don’t pick up those discouraged workers and we don’t pick up those people who are looking part-time but really want a full-time job.”

The latest numbers also show employment is up by 15,000 jobs in the St. Louis region, and up by 27,000 statewide.

“Looking at this last twelve month period, we are seeing improvement in employment and we’re also seeing a decline in the unemployment rate,” Nickisch said.

But, looking at the big picture, since the recession began in December 2007, there are 127,000 fewer jobs in Missouri and 53,000 fewer jobs in the St. Louis region.


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